The US Department of Defense (DoD) has selected XTEKf as part of its foreign comparative testing (FCT) programme.
Under the $1.5m contract, XTEKf will develop advanced lightweight hard armour plate solutions using its XTclave isostatic composite consolidation technology for the US Army.
The contract follows the company's selection by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) review committee to participate in the FCT programme in October 2012.
The contract seeks cost-effective production of personal body armour products that will feature lowered weight and performance characteristics addressing or exceeding those of the existing US Army designs.
Featuring programmable cycling of significant isostatic pressure and temperature to achieve composite consolidation in thermoset and thermoplastic based systems, XTclave technology has initially been developed as a batch-type manufacturing process for ballistic protection laminates, primarily small arms protective inserts (SAPIs).
The isostatic high-pressure processing technique has already displayed its ability to achieve enhanced performance characteristics for armour plates, including lower area density and improved ballistic performance.
Managed under the OSD Comparative Testing Office (CTO), the FCT programme enables testing and validation of foreign non-developmental items by US armed services that feature potential to address user requirements of the components of the US military.
The DoD initiative specifically aims to evaluate the foreign allies and friends' items and technologies that have required Technology Readiness Level for satisfaction of valid defence requirements.
With US Army as the sponsor agency, the FCT contract is expected to make XTclave technology a possible solution to providing lighter and enhanced body armour to the US military.
Production and validation work under the contract is scheduled to be carried out for the next two years.
Image: XTclave technology has initially been developed as a batch-type manufacturing process for small arms protective inserts. Photo: courtesy of direbmem.